What Would You Give for Self-Control?

Acts 24:24-25

Jesus wants to enable you to have self-control. Do you want self-control?  It is available only to those who dare bring themselves under His supernatural control.

Understand it clearly.  In speaking of self-control, reference is not simply to will power. That is only a part of true self-control. Galatians 5: 22, 23 refers to the fruit, that is the harvest of the Spirit. The ninth item is self-control.  It is thus depicted as a product of a life under the control of the Holy Spirit.

To think of exercising self-control apart from the power of God would be as foolish as an astronaut going into space without the proper support system.  The Lord gives us His Word, His Holy Spirit, His personal presence, His enabling grace, and His strength. He then says, “I have given you the tools, now you do the job,” — show self-control.

Do you have self-control?  Can you listen to a beautiful bird and not want to cage it?  Can you see a beautiful flower and not want to pick it?  Can you see an attractive member of the opposite sex and not want to sexually compromise him or her?  Can you break a chocolate bar into four parts with your own bare hands and only eat one piece?

To help maintain self-control think of your vain imagination, improper impulses, inordinate appetites, and impure emotions to be four wild horses. Consider yourself as having the reigns in your hands and giving them over to Jesus to control. Then apply Philippians 1:5 which exhorts believers to “let this mind be in you which was in Christ Jesus.”  At this point you turn the person, item, or situation that is about to gain control over to Christ. Don’t just try to quit thinking about it. Think about it in a manner you think Christ would think of it.  Have the same mind about it you know He would.

The best time to do this is when you first realize you are losing self-control. The Scripture speaks of “that sin which does so easily beset you.” (Hebrews 12: 1) The NKJ says, “the sin which so easily ensnares you.” It simply means there is a sin to which you are more vulnerable than any other. Right?  Right!  

First, identify it. Next, think for a moment about the things that normally precede you losing self-control regarding this sin. Do the conditions involve a place, situation, person, or feeling?  What happens just before you lose self-control?

At that point focus on two things: 1) the Christ mind — you are going to think His thoughts, and 2) the presence of Christ — you are going to behave as though you are in His presence. . .  because you are.

F.W. Boreham, the great Australian preacher, said, “We make our decisions, and then our decisions turn around and make us.”